5:51 PM EDT, September 14, 2012
This wonderfully easy dish is something your guests will enjoy time and time again, and they'll think you spent extra time in the kitchen. You most certainly can prepare the main ingredients a day ahead and have this ready to serve when your guests arrive, giving you more time with them and less time in the kitchen.
The keys to this dish are fresh bright ingredients and less than seven ingredients, not including salt and pepper. I will add the serrano or jalapeno pepper in optional, so you can take it to eight ingredients, if you so desire.
Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Shrimp and avocado tacos
1 large ripe avocado, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound 21-25 peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
12 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, diced
Using a microplane, grate the zest of the limes, only the green, not the white pithy part underneath. Juice the limes into a large glass bowl with the lime zest. If you prefer your tacos a little tangy, then add all the zest, otherwise about 1/2 is sufficient. Dice the avocado.
Toss in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine, but not too hard or you will smash the avocado into mush. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you plan to serve the following day, then drain the liquid after marinating for 30 minutes, cover the mixture tightly and keep in fridge.
When you are ready to serve, heat the tortillas or at least let them come to room temperature so they will be easier to handle. Place 1/2 cup of mixture in the center of each tortilla, fold in half and serve.
Makes 12 tacos
For a garnish, use diced scallions or cilantro
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